Moving Forward

We are home. And I just want to sit and let that statement simmer for a bit because the ever so comforting idea of home is worth simmering.

This little welcome? Oh, you should have seen it. I don’t know whose face was more fun to watch–the girls or Brett’s.

I’ve been “under water” for the last four days and only now coming up for air. I can honestly say I don’t think I sat one time but to eat or make it through an airplane ride since Monday.

And while we’re on the subject, can we talk about this picture in the airplane safety handbook?


This man is having entirely too much fun. He’s, like, air born. And his hands are all “Wheeeeee!” in the air which, I’m sure, is not how it goes when there’s really an emergency.

Moving on.

We were a hot mess of travel today. A strollers collapsing, kids crying, bag schlepping kind of mess. And, at 7:15 in the morning, I literally chased the Budget rental car shuttle bus, waving my arms and screaming, as it drove away with one of my suitcases. You should have seen me. I was fast. And loud. And I caught him.

Before I begin to unravel any sort of description for this week, I must start out with some important news.

Early Wednesday morning, just minutes before I left our hotel for the first day of shooting, a little something happened. I was nervous. This kind of photography experience is completely new to me, and I felt a little out of my element. Nella perhaps sensed my anxiety. Because Sister smiled and took her very first steps for me, wobbly but sure. (She’s walked for our P.T., but it doesn’t count until Mama sees it)


Houston, we have a walker. Video to come.

This experience is pertinent to everything this week meant. Seriously, as I was triple checking battery back-up and lenses and chanting to myself convincingly, “You’re going to rock this out,” my girl looks up, smiles and moves forward.


It is about moving forward.

I became involved in this project back in August when I met Colette in San Diego at Blog Her. Colette is the Senior Brand Manager for Infantino. She welcomed her second child, sweet Dexter, eight months ago and, like me, was surprised to find out her little man came with something extra.


When Colette welcomed her beautiful son, she also welcomed the opportunity to affect positive change. She started Down Right Awesome and invited her company and its sister company, Step 2 Toys, to join forces in an amazing campaign that recognizes the beauty and abilities of all children. I am so proud to be part of it.

We began the week with a trip to UCSD where Colette and I had the opportunity to tour the lab of Dr. Mobley, one of the top researchers for the neurobiology of Down syndrome. (he was part of a week long series on KPBS last week. You can hear it HERE)


It was fascinating. Dr. Mobley’s team passionately explained some of the research that is currently in progress that could potentially increase the quality of life for individuals with Down syndrome. And though I didn’t understand all of what was explained (these people are very smart), I did understand the powerful underlying message of…progress.


We are moving forward.

This theme continued as the week progressed.

Twitter party at Farm (thank you to everyone who participated and apologies for not being very Twitter savvy).

Lunch at Infantino which may just have the most connected, kind and passionate family of staff ever.

Photobucket Lainey’s shirt from my talented friend, Dig.

And finally, the photo shoot.

For two days, nine hours straight, the camera furiously snapped. Technically, it was fascinating–a well-oiled machine. Product photography has a lot of behind-the-scenes efforts that go into creating images for packaging and websites, and I will never pick up a rattle in Target again without appreciating that little picture of the baby smiling on the back. However, this shoot was different. While it was indeed a product shoot, it was so much more than that. It was an experience that combined a whole lot of passionate people, beautiful children, and the hope of moving forward.


It was beautiful, and it was clearly evident that everyone involved knew this was more than just a toy campaign.



One of my favorite moments? I was shooting three kids in one shady corner– sweating, smiling, framing these perfect moments and oblivious to everything else around me–and someone came up, tapped me and said, “Um, we have a little magic going on behind you.” I turned my head and there, on a huge play blanket spread out a few yards behind me, was a slew of babies. All quietly playing. There was a huddle of parents standing by and no one said a word. Babies–red hair, curly hair, fair skin, chocolate skin, almond eyes, round eyes–all smiling. Shaking rattles, touching each others’ cheeks, exploring the world around them.


And my finger went wild on that shutter button while I quietly choked back tears behind the shield of my camera.

I am so proud of Infantino and Step 2 for taking advertising where it should go.

Everybody plays.


And this week, I saw it. Chidren of all abilities came together and they happily played. It had nothing to do with differences and everything to do with the magic of childhood. I feel so lucky to have been right there, in the middle of it.


There are so many more pictures–ones I am aching to show you, and I wish I could post more, but most of them highlight new toys that haven’t hit the shelves yet, so I can’t let you peek. They’ll come soon enough though. And lucky for all of you, you’ll be seeing these beautiful children in Infantino and Step 2 marketing to come. A lot of love and thought went into these toys and campaign, and I met so many of the people behind them this week. Amazing people.

Parents, what a pleasure it was to meet you–to get to spend a few moments with the children you are so lucky to love every day.

We are moving forward.

Thank you to this awesome chick who assisted me this week.


Tasha is a photographer in San Diego and moving soon to Washington state. She’s fantastic–fun, easy, helpful–and her work is beautiful. If you’re in that area and looking for a photographer, check out Tasha Reifschneider.

It was a long week. But good.

Photobucket Wednesday night dinner with a slew of awesome peeps at The Station.

Thank you to everyone who so kindly welcomed us–to everyone who radiated excitement for what this all means. Thank you to my dad who watched the girls all week and managed the GPS through confusing San Diego freeways.

And my girls…so glad I got to be with them this week. They were troopers.


Nella’s cute duds: Tea Collection.

And tomorrow? The whipped cream and cherry on the very delightful sundae we enjoyed this week. It’s our neighborhood costume parade. And we are home. Delicious.

You didn’t think I’d sign off without a Friday photo dump, did you?


Happy Weekend. Happy to be home. Happy to be moving forward.

A greeting card from our hotel gift shop.

Let the party continue.


Leave a Comment
  1. So many beautiful children…wow! My brother who has DS is 36 and it’s hard to imagine he was EVER that tiny!

    Glad you made it back safely!


  2. Thank goodness you back! I have been patiently waiting and checking and hoping for an update. Have a great holdiay weekend!!!!


  3. Looking forward to reading more about Infantino……great project & so proud you got to be part of it….so sure you rocked it. Yeah Nella…..!!!! xoxoxoxo

  4. You were missed in our little blog world. What a great trip! Such beautiful faces & such a great cause. Congrats to Nella!! Can’t wait to see the video.

  5. Way to go, Nella :)….It is amazing how much those first little steps mean!!!

  6. Welcome back! We missed you Kelle!
    Yey for Nella! Walking!
    So nice that you got to travel, work and have your family with you all at once.
    Happy weekend!
    Looking forward to costume pictures!

  7. Awesome! So glad that your trip to San Diego brought so much joy and learning to you. And HOOORAY for Miss Nella and her first steps! Holy shit that’s amazing! I am so ridiculously stoked to see the video you’ve promised!

    Totally digging the dig this chick shirt on Lainey… I am still in love with that monster v-day shirt. So stinkin cute!

    Have fun on the costume parade! Can’t wait for the pics!

  8. so glad you made it home safely. happy the trip went so well. & love all the pics. they are priceless. just lovely. have a great weekend. (:

  9. Awesome pictures! Glad you had a successful, enjoyable time in SD! Can’t wait to see more pictures


  10. The photos you shot for the campaign are magical. I can’t WAIT to see this campaign and the impact it has.

    There aren’t many children’s companies that would take this on.

    We have tried to partner with mainstream parenting magazines and been told that “special needs” is a small, ‘niche’ market.

    Congrats to you and Nella. xo

  11. what an awesome experience and opportunity, Kelle! I know Infantino will be thrilled with your work. Happy Halloweening this weekend, rain rain, go away!

  12. First off: YAY NELLA!!! SO PROUD OF YOU!!!

    Second: Sounds like it was an amazing week. :)

  13. Your posts always move me but this one … I don’t know … *affected* me. Beautiful. Passionate. Downright inspiring.


    ~ Devon
    Reading with Joey

  14. Way to go nella!!!! Sam and his mommy are proud of you! Kelle, I am proud of you too for taking on an intimidating but awesome opportunity. Thankful for all you fo for the DS community. I am so glad my Sam introduced me to this great new world where I can learn about people like you!

  15. Way to go nella!!!! Sam and his mommy are proud of you! Kelle, I am proud of you too for taking on an intimidating but awesome opportunity. Thankful for all you fo for the DS community. I am so glad my Sam introduced me to this great new world where I can learn about people like you!

  16. Your posts always move me but this one … I don’t know … *affected* me. Beautiful. Passionate. Downright inspiring.


    ~ Devon
    Reading with Joey

  17. Yay Nella!!!

    There are so many adorable children in those pictures I don’t even know where to start. So many sweet faces!

  18. Yay, Nella!!! First steps, so exciting! And I love that it was on the morning of the shoot… a great message of encouragement for her mama. :)
    It was so great to meet you, Kelle. And I just have to say, it is all kinds of surreal to see a picture of me and my Finley girl on your blog. After reading and raving about your site for the past year it’s pretty amazing that our paths crossed and you got to meet and shoot pictures of both of my babies. Life is awesome.
    And I think I speak for all of us parents when I say that you did, indeed, “rock it out.”
    So proud of the campaign and to be a part of it.
    XO to you and your girls…

  19. So glad that you are home safely!!!

    I can’t wait to see the photos in advertising.. how rewarding!

    AND – love the photo of you & your daddy in the Friday Phone Dump! What a special bond…

  20. what an amazing week you had and how lucky are you to be part of something that will change the world. yes it will. you know it will, or you wouldn’t have been there. why do you think we love you the way we do.

  21. Sounds like such a beautiful campaign – it makes me want to rush to the stores to buy Infantino toys just to be a part of all the love and support! As always, your post is inspiring. ps – how do you post your photo dump pics? do you use a photo collage program?

  22. glad you all made it back safe and sound!! and had a marvelous trip :)

    i can’t wait to see more photos of the beautiful children and moments.

    have a great weekend!

  23. I’ve been anxiously awaiting an update. Looks amazing! And all of those cute faces and your camera = perfection!

    Way to go Nella!!!

  24. Sounds like you had an awesome week! My sister used to live in SD. I never got out to visit her. I’ll have to get there soon!
    Hopefully this rain stops for your parade tomorrow! I love the parades that are everywhere down here! Only a few of the very small towns do this on their main streets up north. I can’t wait to experience it first hand!
    Welcome home =)

  25. Yay Nella!! I am so glad that I have been able to see both of your girls growing over the last year or so. Such a great accomplishment, those first steps =)

  26. oh – and YAY NELLA!! She’ll be running in no time keeping up with her big sister … or running in the opposite direction just to keep you on your toes!! <3

  27. I really love your posts and following your blog. Your girls are so gorgeous and I feel like I am inspired to do new things and try new things with my 3 kiddos every time I read a post. I especially love this post because you were in San Diego–which is where I was born and raised and I’m now raising my family here. :)
    On a different note, my 3 year old was born with a brain disorder, so I know what it’s like to have a child with ‘something special’ :) I feel lost sometimes because I don’t know anyone with a child like him and I don’t know what his future holds. But I can relate to that great feeling when they make the milestones…slightly delayed, but so very sweet…walking, talking, climbing stairs on his own (which he just started to do this week!), starting preschool (OK, so it is a Mommy-and-Me preschool, but still)…wow. Just so special. I love to hear about Nella and about all that you do for her and other children with Down Syndrome. I wish I knew other moms with kids like my special little dude.
    Keep up the good work! Can’t wait to see the new Step 2 toys. My kids love them!

  28. Gorgeous picture of Maceo! Thank you, thank you for the preview!

  29. OK, I haven’t read the whole post yet. I just got to the airplane picture and laughed so hard for like 10 minutes. Luckily nobody is here to see me right now because I’m sure they would think I am nuts! Every time I looked at it again I started up again and then when I was REALLY done I noticed the lady behind him in the airborne shot…she TOTALLY pushed him!!!! hahahahaha. Oh, thanks for that laugh, Kelle! It was a good one.

  30. Welcome Home!

    I’m totally catching up on your blog, boy I have missed A LOT!

    Excited for the new journey that you are on.

  31. sounds amazing! I love those days, when they just fly by, and when they are filled with hard work, but they are also filled with laughter and happiness.

    That moment with the babies? I got teary-eyed just thinking about it. Amazing.

  32. Whew, a post! I was gettin’ a little worried there Kelle! It’s been since Monday and I missed you! I have to say I saw your dad on the picture in the plane *with Lainey and her headphones) on Monday’s post and was so excited he was with you to help you if Brett couldn’t be. Traveling with kids alone is always hard. Doesn’t matter how beautiful or well behaved they are, it’s just hard. Glad you had an extra set of hands. Looks like a wonderful trip where you met lots of new faces! And waiting {patiently} for that sweet video of Nella walking!!! xoxo

  33. Love this post! Wait second, I love all your posts!! Almost always brings me to tears! Can’t wait to see more photos!

  34. So many beautiful children and so many beautiful memories for you and your girls!! I am so happy for you Kelle that you had this experience!!! And your little Ms. Nella sharing her magic and letting her Mama know “Your a Rockstar Mama-just like me! Together we are moving forward!” step-step-step!! Boy-oh-boy she is scrumptious!!
    Your Friday phone dump is my favourite yet!!-Brett & Lainey-You & your Dad-Lainey swinging in the tree (awesome photo) and you and Lainey holding hands. You are amazing Kelle!!
    Happy costume parade!!

  35. It was so fun to get to meet you at the shoot. I don’t know if you know how much you help people by your blog. When I had Leighton it was a surprise, but I remembered hearing about your blog and seeing Nella’s life a little day to day makes me know that Leighton will be amazing too, and life is still awesome. Actually it’s so much better when you get one of these cuties. I always feel grateful for the Moms who have walked this road before me, and how much they have pushed for our babies place. You do so much, thank you.
    Jessica (that little cuttie in the white’s, Mom)

  36. Yay, Nella!!!!

  37. so glad you are back
    your girls are gorgeous! I hope you had fun!


  38. It sounds glorious. Can’t wait to see the photos. And Yay for Nella taking those steps so you could see them!

  39. That greeting card caught my attention right away. A Seattle band made a song out of that quote! You can listen to it here:


  40. Tearing up seeing all those beautiful kids and so excited to see the product line-up. Been following your blog. Thanks for sharing the joy of raising a child with special needs. My heart echos yours as my husband and I care for our son. There is beauty in it that I never thought I’d see and I don’t want to go back. :-) Thanks again, Sue.

  41. Cried my happy tears tonight. Life is so beautiful -So precious. I’m so happy for your little miss Nella and your SoCal experience!

  42. I am amazed at how this magical universe works! Though I have never met you I was thinkIng of you a few days ago as I walked through target and wondering why. Holden with special needs are never features in ads. It was breaking my heart because like you said everyone plays and why isn’t it an a acceptable part of everyday life to see the diversity. I completely forgot this epiphany until I opened this post and realized the universe works mysteriously sometimes and I am in awe of this experience. Wow just wow!

  43. How I love this! I love to see abilities in everyone! Kids are so great, so open… I hope to ‘expose’ my little guy (& future kiddos) to people with disabilities very early on because I want to make sure they’re accepting and understanding. And, their uncle has Down syndrome and I love him to pieces! xx

    Can’t wait to see more photos! How cute are all those kids?!

  44. Can’t wait to see your beautiful photography of these beautiful and inspiring children! I just wanna scoop ’em all up in my arms! Darling darling! Happy parading to you this weekend, too!

  45. What a great enterprise -loving your work!! And I can’t believe you posted that greetings card- I have loved that quote for so long (it is in a book of child’s poems I had) and I only thought of it again earlier today! Spooky. But isn’t it perfect?

    I couldn’t help thinking – that bus wouldn’t have stopped for me. I’d be on the phone for days trying to recover that case!

  46. Sounds like it was amazing. I love all your photos, if I am ever in the Florida area or if you ever visit Missouri, I would love you to photograph my son. You are great! And YAY Nella! I am so happy to hear she took her first steps for you, she’s awesome and beautiful. 2 days until Halloween, my countdown has begun. Oh and BTW the St. Louis Cardinals won the world series, I just had to share. Have a great weekend!

  47. I checked how you were going on infantino; you looked like you were having a fabulous time. Such gorgeous children. But I imagine you must be exhausted and so glad to be back in your home, from the looks on their faces when hugging Brett I reckon your girls are too! Can’t wait to see Bo Peep and a cute little sheep!

  48. So glad you are back! Been waiting all week to get my fix of inspiration from ya. You rock my world as usual.

  49. What a memorable week! I am so grateful for this deeply meaningful campaign~which you were so blessed to be a part of. You are the most perfect person to help capture those precious little smiling faces. May these candid shots you took show the world the true beauty of our children living with DS~they do love to play just like every other kid. I’m thrilled Infantino is raising awareness. And I am jumping for JOY for you and your family. When our kiddos reach a milestone we feel like we’re going to burst with excitement. I know we are always cheering loudly at our house for our daughter and her accomplishments~right now…we cheer for you and Nella. Thank you for sharing your talents. Thank you for inspiring so many. Thank you for representing us families raising children with DS. It means a lot to us. Happy Halloween Kelle & Family. Can’t wait to hear all about it! Glad you had fun in San Diego…I love it there! We live just an hour north.

    :) Lisa B
    Mom in SoCal to Megan {9 w/DS}

  50. Glad you had a nice time in SD. As a side note, USD (where I went to college) is not where that professor (or that building) is from. He is from UCSD. Only 1 letter difference, but 2 completely different schools. FYI!

  51. What a beautiful, inspiring, educational and fun trip. Oh, I bet I should put tiring in there. Can’t wait to see these products hit the shelf. Packaging design is an art.

    The girls are such troopers.

    Congrats Nella on the walking! Your mama has set up a nice path for you.

    Happy Halloween and get some rest.

    Lisa : )

  52. I’m so glad you all made it home safely and didn’t have to use that awesomely fun looking slide to get off the plane. 😉 I had such fun “following” you on Twitter and getting sneek peeks of some of your photo fun on the Infantino page. I can’t wait to hear more about the Everybody Plays campaign and see it in action! I have a feeling it’s going to bring about so much positive change for our girls and so many others. And you got to tour Dr. Mobley’s lab?! Get out!! That would be a dream come true for me!

    Nella girl you brought tears to my eyes! I can only imagine how proud your mama was, and how you brought comfort and tore at her heart at the same time.<3 I’m sure you reminded her that in times when we feel unsure and nervous it’s the best time to let go and have faith in ourselves. You held on to them till just the right moment sweetheart!

  53. Sorry your post covered so much I forgot to say: you must be so proud of Nella’s 1st steps for you, has she walked for Brett yet?

  54. aw Kelle

    So much goodness in one wee post! Nella walked! yay! I know that to travel without my husband with my two boys to do a nerveracking job that I care about would be major and I bet at times stressful. Is it weird to say i’m proud of you even though I don’t know you? Because that’s how I felt reading your post. Proud and like you go girl. You are doing good things, many good things. I’m so glad I found your blog all that time ago. It’s a constant source of inspiration.

    Keep moving forward indeed!


  55. Before anything else: GO NELLA! Brings tears to my eyes! I am in love with the pictures from the shoot…. I think everything on Ellie’s Christmas list will come from them :)

  56. Dear Kelle,

    I know you recieve so many comments, that you probably really do not get a chance to read them all but in case you happen to read this one I just wanted to let you know. . .

    I recently found your blog, and I am entirely absorbed by your delicatly crafted writing and your precious photos which so perfectly reinforce what you have written and which I drift away in. Thank you for your sincere honesty and sharing a little bit of your world with me through your blog.

    To gain an inisight into the way that you view life, the lessons you are learning, and the journeys that you are being taken on to reach these points is purely a treat.

    It has been such a delight to find a blog that appreciates the little things in life and how these little things happen to make up one big beautiful thing. Thank you for your blog and all that it is. And thank you for wording this so perfectly. . ‘I find myself looking more deeply for the beauty in life and consequently finding it in more places.’ . . in a way that I could not, but so deeply describes how I too have felt about my own blog (:


  57. This one made the tears pour! Such a beautiful, inspiring post!
    We’re struggling with Autism. So many times your wonderful posts have helped me through the day. Thank you so much for all that you do!

    In love with photography myself, can’t wait to see your photos!

  58. Cute post, and your pictures are adorable!

  59. Beautiful post to read as always. These photos are all excellent, seriously. The trip home’s not usually fun but it seems like it was. Keep up with the good work.

  60. Super campaign and a super milestone for Nella. X

  61. Kelle, I wasn’t sure when you were coming home/when you would update so I’ve been going back over your blog for the past two days, whenever I have a chance. Instead of mindlessly checking and re-checking facebook and stupid celeb gossip sites, I’ve been reading beautiful words and looking at beautiful pictures, and laugh-crying the whole way, remembering with each entry why your blog is my favorite. And the only one I keep up with, really. When I refreshed tonight, before I tiptoe to join my hubby & baby girl in bed, I saw your post and literally clapped to myself, lol. I read and honestly, started laugh-sobbing at Nella’s huge milestone. Congrats, you guys. She really is amazing. And thank you, for being such a therapy to me on bad AND good days, and making me laugh-cry and, above all: enjoy the small things.

  62. Nella walking! Glad you got to see it. For some reason, I just can’t remember the first steps of any of my kids…but I did catch a first crawl on video and I love it. Now I just chase after them like you chasing after that shuttle for your bag :)
    Sounds like an amazing trip. Beautiful fotos.
    Have a great halloween!


  63. LOVE it ALL!!

  64. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. What an amazing thing to be a part of!! You should be very proud. Enjoy your time ‘home’ with your family!!

  65. Yay Nella:) I don’t know you in person, but I feel like I do know you from reading along for so long. I’m really proud of all you have done and been apart of with Downs. You my dear are an official activist. Bet you never saw that comin’. Amazing how God shapes our lives. Enjoy home.

  66. Loved reading about it, but honestly, you lost me at –
    sister took her very first steps for me!
    The rest got a little blurry.
    You go Nella!

  67. I think we, as adults, have a lot to learn from really young children. They have NO prejudices to dictate how they behave toward anyone. My son is almost 3 and every kid he meets, he acts like they are his best friend ever. I love that a group of babies/toddlers together. :)

  68. Welcome home, the photos are beautiful ( always). Happy about your “official” walker, you’re right it only counts when Mommy sees it, giggle. Looking forward to updates. Hugs

  69. I have been waiting all week for this post! In a non-stalker kind of way :)

    Congrats to Nella on taking her first steps! She’ll be running before you know it.

    Enjoy being at home x

  70. Enjoying my Saturday morning porch sitting session with my huge cup of coffee and crying my eyes out! Happy tears though…and I’m sure my across the street neighbors think I’m a little nuts :-). Wonderful post as are all of your posts. I want to love on all of those sweet babies!

    So incredibly inspiring to read how people are passionate about making a difference. It makes me want to be there in the mix of it all…making a difference! These are the type of stories that need to be blasted on the news and on the cover of magazines.

    Thank you for sharing, for being an inspiration to many, and for being so amazing with words!

  71. P.S. YAY NELLA!!!

  72. WOW! What an exciting week you’ve had. And best of all, that wondrous photo of the reunion with Daddy!

  73. Oh
    Nella, I am so proud of you walking like a big girl. Can’t wait to see the video.
    Precious picture of girls and their daddy.
    What a great group and such a wonderful cause. Such sweet faces.

  74. Perhaps one of your sweetest posts to date. I have tears in my eyes. I love that progress is being made in science, and I love the faces that we could see. I’m so in love with my “faux grandson” that has that little extra!

  75. Looks like you had a great trip! And what a great initiative. Can’t wait to see what they have in store. And GO NELLA! What an awesome accomplishment!!!

  76. Good for Nella!! It sounds like you were part of a wonderful experience!


  78. cute baby.
    keep on blogging

  79. Bravo! I am celebrating Nella’s first steps with you!

    LOVE the “Everybody plays” movement…So happy you are part of this amazing campaign, met so many beautiful souls and had such a great time in San Diego. :)))

    Can you believe…It’s snowing…here…right now…

    Xox…Lots of Love~

    “I see my beauty in you. I become a mirror that cannot close its eyes to your longing…We become these words we say, a wailing sound moving out into the air. These thousands of worlds that rise…” ~Rumi

  80. I’ve wanted to see the neurobiology of Down Syndrome facility for some time now. I’ve heard what they are doing to help the motor skills of DS people is amazing. And the infantino shoot; what a fun thing to be a part of.

  81. There are so many inspiring, amazing, uplifting things in this post. Where to start?

    Nella walking? The tears came fast. So happy and celebrating with you!!!

    I love that you are part of the the ‘Everybody Plays’ campaign. It is extremely crucial to love ALL of our kids, for what they can do, what they give us, how they change our worlds.

    And girl? LOVE that you are rocking those Stella & Dot earrings I sent you!!! :)

    Happy Weekend to you darling.

  82. How amazing! Excited to learn more about your project and to see more photos.

    Nella’s first steps…. can not wait for the video! So proud of her.

    And Friday Phone dump- love the picture of you blowing a bubble and Nella’s tongue sticking out. My boys all do the same thing. Cracks me up!

  83. I just started interacting in this blogging world, but I love yours! I have an almost 10 year old boy with down syndrome and as I read your blog, expecially the comments about your daughter walking for the first time, it reminds me of those precious first years and all the miracles that happen. I think you’re doing a wonderful job of recording your life. What a gift!

  84. I love all the photos and the things you write here.

  85. Τhat is a beautiful post…Very moving.Beautiful little faces.Hope to see your job soon!

  86. Thanks for sharing all of this awesomeness! I’m soaking it in!

  87. Beautiful, gorgeous children everywhere!!! What a blessing this post was to me, a special ed teacher who works hard every day to make at least one person look past the differences of my students–to the amazing individuals they really are and the gifts they have to share.

  88. Beautiful people…in and out :) thumbs up

  89. Gee I love your blog. It is a little ray of sunshine in amongst the everyday and I love how you view life through your lense.
    I am sitting here listening to the new Coldplay album and when I read that Nella took those steps towards you, I must admit I cried.
    Moving forward indeed!!
    She instinctively knew just what you needed at that moment, what a blessing she is.
    That photo shoot looks amazing.
    You truly do have a blessed life Kelle.

  90. Your blog is Heaven. I love it so. I love YOU so. And your girls … everything. Love it. Thank you … for your awesomeness!

  91. Wow, wow, wow. Absolutely amazing photos!!!!!!

  92. i straight up cried when i read that nella walked. congrats, mama. time to celebrate!

  93. What a beautiful company. I am glad they are making a difference. Oh, that we would all.

    LOVE the card.

  94. moving forward… awesome. I love it.

  95. Where did you get Nella’s cute hat – the animal one…is it a bird?? LOVE IT!

  96. What a awesome week, and Kelley, U R awesome!!!

  97. What a wonderful story to start my Sunday! I found you on BON (Congrats!) and I can now see why you were picked! Awesome blog! The children are beautiful, the photos tell a story and your words educate. Wow!
    I am a new follower. I hope you’ll follow my blog, too. Growing Old With Grace
    Hugs, GraceinAZ

  98. What a beautiful campaign slogan…all my kids are well past the rattle stage, but I will look for these toys and buy them for someone…I’m behind this campaign all the way!

  99. Oh, Kelle! I don’t have sufficient, intelligent, creative words to explain how I feel viewing your pictures & reading your words… only that my throat hurts BAD from choking back tears. I should just let them flow, eh?

    So beautiful, so meaningful!

    And so proud of you!

  100. This makes my heart smile

  101. OK – I totally got choked up reading about that magic moment with all the beautiful babies playing together… *sniff*

    A BIG congratulations to Miss Nella on taking her first steps! Hooray! Way to go, Nella!

  102. Congratulations on the photoshoot! What an exciting time for you. A couple of questions- do you have any recommendations for an iphone cover/case and how do you do the Friday phone dump? Is this from instagram or hipstamatic? Thanks so much, and happy halloween to you and your family!

  103. I’ve been thinking a lot about why I blog (or lately, don’t blog) and often wonder what is most people’s motivation for blogging. I am sure you never expected your blog to grow and blossom as much as it has since Nella was born but I am thankful you’re open about your journey of raising a child with Down’s Syndrome. You’ve completely changed the way I think about special needs. Thanks for being so open.

  104. Gorgeous children! And congrats to Nella on those steps. Hooray!

    And about that picture of the guy zooming down the emergency slide: why do the earlier pics show a black man? What happened to him? Did he open the door then let everyone else out or something?

  105. Thanks for your beautiful words and pictures about such a heart warming weekend. Your description of those beautiful babes on the rug bought tears to my eyes. I’m only part of your cyber community, but i cheered with you to hear of Nella walking! God Bless.

  106. Happy Halloween! It’s good to be home but sounds like a great trip too. I’ve been given that greeting card before, recognized it right away…

  107. LOVE.
    So proud of Nella for “moving forward!”
    Can’t wait to see the new toys :)

  108. Congrats on Nella’s first steps…so exciting!! :)

  109. Thank you, Kelle, for so brilliantly representing our kiddos. I was so moved by your post. I drank it up like a good glass of wine, taking my time reading each word. I celebrate with you, this idea of moving forward! Onward we go! (March, March, March!)

    Nella walked!! What a huge milestone! Congrats little Nella! We’re all so proud of you! I can only imagine how over joyed you & Brett must be! It was a BIG day for us too when our ‘Little C’ walked!

    Can’t wait to hear how the holiday festivities went for Halloween this weekend! Happy Trick or Treating! :)

  110. wow, such beautiful,special children. Especially little Nella. So excited to hear of this campaign, and the work being done to celebrate those individuals who have a little something extra.

  111. Hey, sorry if these seems like spam. I just started a new blog and I would love for everyone to take a look. It would be so awesome if you would. Thanks

  112. I am an early childhood special education teacher and a mommy and I totally get it! Yay for this positive step forward for acceptance and inclusion!

  113. Love this movement!

    Happy Halloween to all the Hamptons! I am looking forward to seeing the girls in their costumes!!

  114. Wow, just viewing your Friday phone dump makes me feel tired! you fit a lot in!
    Very excited to learn more about the Infantino project.
    Happy Halloween!

  115. I find it a little upsetting that Nella hit her walking milestone but you refused to acknowledge it because you didn’t see it yourself.

  116. made-of-these, I totally get the milestone celebration when it became personal. I was there in the room when our little sprite just stepped out on her own and, while I heard it happened before, it was so “premiere” with us. I loved hearing Kelle’s scream and seeing Nella’s proud expression. It was like her saying “Poppa” on video for me–that paled when I heard it myself, in person, from those persed little rosebud lips.
    There was no “refusing” to acknowledge it before–The physical therapist “reported” her walking–and we were thrilled, but on this day, at this moment, in a hotel room in San Diego, we witnessed those confident steps long awaited and we were ecstatic. We will soon be chasing her, I am sure.

  117. Proud of you sister…you are doing amazing things!
    ps..Gracee wants Lainey to know that she has the monster with the balloon heart shirt…we dig “Dig this Chick”…she rocks.

  118. This comment has been removed by the author.

  119. Nuh-uh! I took the exact same picture (from the airplane safety handbook) and texted it to my friends. Please notice the flight attendant (I assume) pushing the guy out of the plane. Hilarious!

  120. What a wonderful experience! It looks like progress and love.
    I feel so good reading your post.
    Thanks for sharing it, can’t wait for those other photos!!

  121. This brought a warmth to my soul, chills to my skin and tears to my eyes. You rocked it out…..

  122. I enjoyed your posts. It gave me courage, and taught me to enjoy life even the very small thing. Thanks for sharing it.

  123. I’d love to know where you got the owl hat…it’s SO cute!

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